YouTrack Cloud 2024.1 Help

Migration from Jira to YouTrack

This guide is designed to help you plan and perform a migration from Jira to YouTrack. These instructions are specifically written for system administrators who are directly involved in the migration. Most of the tasks involved in this process require permissions that are usually exclusive to users assigned a System Admin role. To successfully follow this guide, make sure you have the necessary permissions to avoid encountering any unexpected problems.

If you're migrating from Jira to YouTrack, we assume that you have evaluated YouTrack as a viable issue-tracking solution and are aware of its advantages and limitations in comparison to Jira. Teams that are still in the process of evaluating YouTrack may follow a similar process using data from a few pilot projects, but the instructions here are meant to guide you through a complete migration of all active projects.

These instructions are specific to migrations from Jira Software and Jira Work Management. The steps required to migrate projects from Jira Service Desk to YouTrack's helpdesk solution are not described here.

Migrating your organization's issue-tracking system from Jira to YouTrack is a significant task that requires careful planning and execution. A successful migration will usually consist of the following steps:

  1. Understand Your Current Jira Setup

  2. Install YouTrack

  3. Create a Migration Project

  4. Replicate Your System Settings

  5. Import Pilot Projects

  6. Import The Rest of Your Data

  7. Restore Your Integrations

  8. Restore Your Automation

  9. Replicate Your Issue Views

  10. Decommission Jira

Understand Your Current Jira Setup

Make sure to document your existing Jira setup, including project configurations, workflows, workflow schemes, and access profiles. Take note of any integrations, plugins, or custom scripts that are currently in use.

Check the following configurations at the system level:

  • Consider all the ways that users access your Jira installation and where their accounts are managed. Do they log in to Jira directly with their Atlassian accounts, or are they logging in through a third-party service, like LDAP or Okta?

  • How do users receive notifications for updates to issues in your Jira installation? Are you using Jira's internal mail service, or are you using your own mail server?

  • What kinds of roles and permissions are used to grant different users the appropriate level of access in Jira? Are you using the default permission scheme, or do you provide customized levels of access to different groups?

You don't need to worry about any custom fields used in your Jira installation. These will be created automatically during import.

Check the following configurations at the project level:

  • If there are any Jira projects that are no longer active, archive them and export their data.

  • For each active project, check for:

    • Custom access profiles — take note of any users or groups who have been granted permission to perform specific actions that don't conform to the standard access model.

    • Workflows — document the path your issues take from creation to completion in each project. Pay careful attention to workflow schemes that are highly customized or enforce critical behavior.

    • Automation — document your existing Jira automation rules. Identify the triggers, conditions, and actions used in each.

      Take some time to become familiar with the default workflows that are provided by YouTrack. You may find that the automation used in one or more Jira projects is easily replicated by activating or tweaking existing workflow rules in YouTrack. For a detailed description of each workflow that is bundled with YouTrack, see Default Workflows.

    • Integrations — look for active integrations with version control systems and build servers.

    • Time tracking — find out which projects are actively using time tracking in Jira. This feature can be switched off at the project level or deactivated system-wide.

Install YouTrack

Set up a YouTrack site where you can transfer data from Jira.

  • If you plan to use our hosting service, register an instance in YouTrack Cloud.

    To learn how to sign up for YouTrack Cloud, see New Instances.

  • Should you need to host the application on your own hardware, download and install YouTrack Server.

Before you start your migration, you need to make sure that your current YouTrack license supports the same number of users that have access to your Jira site. If not, user accounts created during import after your user license limit is reached will have their access banned.

Create a Migration Project

One of the best things you can do to facilitate the process is to create a dedicated project in your new YouTrack site to track the migration from Jira. This lets you monitor your activity and help you become familiar with the differences between YouTrack and Jira.

As you learn how common operations are performed differently in YouTrack compared to Jira, you can start to compile a list of key points to share with users during the onboarding process.

To learn how to create a project in YouTrack, see Create a Project.

Replicate Your System Settings

Once you've set up the YouTrack site where you want to migrate your data, configure it so that it's similar to your Jira setup.

  • If you want users to continue to use their Jira accounts during the migration, you can set up the Atlassian Jira Auth Module.

    If you're using a third-party identity service, you can set up authentication modules for LDAP, Okta, and more. For a full list of options, see Auth Modules.

To ensure that your users have access to services that are only supported over email, make sure your YouTrack site is connected to an email server.

  • With YouTrack Cloud, you have access to our hosted email service by default with no additional setup required.

  • For YouTrack Server installations, you have to set up a connection with your own email server.

Check the default roles that are supported in YouTrack to make sure they match up with the permission profiles that you're using in Jira. If the default roles don't meet your needs, create your own roles with custom permissions. For details, see Roles.

Import Pilot Projects

If you've already taken inventory of the projects that you want to import from Jira, you may have noticed that some of them are more complex than others. For the first import, pick as many projects as you like, but you might want to start slow before you go fast.

Select one project that is relatively basic compared to others and another that has more complexity. Try to avoid projects that are mission-critical. Save these for later when you're more experienced with the process.

Once you know which projects you want to start with, configure the import in YouTrack. For detailed instructions, see Import from Jira.

  • If you import any projects during this phase that are integrated with version control systems, build servers, or other external services, configure these integrations before you invite users to participate in the migration.

  • If any of your pilot projects depend on a specific workflow scheme, you can replicate it using a state-machine workflow in YouTrack. Otherwise, you can import the pilot projects and let the project administrators decide whether they really need to replicate the workflows or not.

The following entities are imported along with your Jira project:

  • Users and their group memberships

  • Custom fields, issue types, statuses, resolutions, and priorities are imported as custom fields

  • Issues, links, attachments, comments, work items, comments, issue history, watchers, and voters

  • Labels that are used to mark at least one issue in Jira are imported as tags

The following entities are not imported and must be replicated manually:

  • Boards

  • Dashboards

  • Roadmaps

  • Reports

Once you have imported issues from your pilot projects, invite the project teams to log in to YouTrack and start working with the imported data. Check in with the managers responsible for the projects included in your pilot and take note of the changes needed to ease their transition.

Import The Rest of Your Data

Once you're sure that you can migrate the rest of your projects without causing disruption, migrate your remaining projects using the same procedure you took for participants in the pilot program.

Consider importing data for different departments in waves to avoid overwhelming yourself or causing too much disruption. By focusing on one department at a time, you may be able to consolidate repetitive tasks in order to complete them more efficiently. For example, importing all projects that require integration with version control so you can focus on restoring these integrations with fewer distractions.

Restore Your Integrations

If you still need to set up integrations with external services that are active in your Jira installation during the pilot phase of the migration, you should set them up now.

For more information, check the following topics:

Integrations with VCS hosting services and build servers can be set up at the global level. However, the actual integrations with specific repositories and build configurations vary per project. Once you have set up connections with the third-party sites that support your integrations, project managers should be able to restore their own integrations at the project level. For detailed instructions, see:

Restore Your Automation

For teams to continue working with YouTrack similar to how they were before, you'll need to restore the business logic that was supported by Jira automation.

Automation rules in Jira are analogous to what we call workflows in YouTrack.

  • If the automation used in your Jira projects is supported by a default workflow in YouTrack, you just need to make sure it is activated in the affected projects. To learn how to manage workflows in a YouTrack project, see Manage Workflows.

  • If you need to re-create specific business logic that isn't supported out of the box, you can write your own workflows using the no-code Workflow Constructor or script more complex interactions using JavaScript. To learn more, see Workflows.

Replicate Your Issue Views

After migration, project managers may need to restore their agile boards, reports, dashboards, and roadmaps. This requires careful reconfiguration to make sure they continue working with YouTrack in the same way they worked with Jira.

Work with project managers to make sure they can set up the same views they used to track their work and manage their teams. For more information, check the following topics:

Roadmaps from Jira can be replicated using Gantt charts. For more information, see Gantt Charts.

Decommission Jira

Once you are confident in the stability of YouTrack and have addressed any post-migration issues, decommission the Jira instance. This can include the following actions:

  • Inform stakeholders and users that the system will no longer be available.

  • Uninstall the software from the system where it resides.

  • Deactivate the license or cancel the subscription.

Last modified: 08 April 2024